Last night I met two celebrities and fell all over myself like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. "Who was it?" you ask. "Brad and Angie? Meryl Streep and George Clooney? Cher and Steven Tyler?" No...even better: Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen, two of my all-time, very favorite authors. Anna Quindlen was discussing her new book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake at a Printers Row event, beginning with a meet-the-author reception, and there was Elizabeth Berg - just another attendee - there to support her friend. She was sitting in the audience before the author conversation began, reading the program, minding her own business, and up I went to introduce myself and say witty and charming things that would make her want to be my new best friend but instead I said, "I'm your biggest fan," "I've read everything you've ever written," "Your writing inspires me," "I own all your books," yada, yada, yada. You know...the things every single person who ever talks to her says. I've actually seen her a million times at her own readings/book signings but she didn't say, "Oh, Samantha, so nice to see you again!" There's a fine line between fan and stalker.
Before the program began, Anna and Elizabeth (we're on a first name basis now) were chatting and I rudely interrupted to ask if I could have a picture "with two of my favorite authors" and they graciously agreed. I didn't say, "Hey, I'm a writer too!" because I'm sure that's another thing everyone always tells them and they smile sincerely and say, "That's terrific," while in their heads their thinking, "Yeah, yeah, yeah...where've I heard that before?" So I got a picture where the two of them look beautiful and I have a goofy grin on my face, but that's okay - how could I not have that goofy grin? They're my idols, my heroes, my inspiration.
After the interview with Anna Quindlen (she's very smart and clever and real) she signed books. When it was my turn I was all ready to say witty and charming things that would make her want to be my new best friend but instead I said, "I'm your biggest fan," "I've read everything you've ever written," "Your writing inspires me," "I own all your books," yada, yada, yada. Where did the wit go? What happened to the charm?